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1.  Genomic Definition of Hypervirulent and Multidrug-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Clonal Groups 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(11):1812-1820.
We created a Web-accessible genome database to enable rapid extraction of genotype, virulence, and resistance information from sequences.
Multidrug-resistant and highly virulent Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates are emerging, but the clonal groups (CGs) corresponding to these high-risk strains have remained imprecisely defined. We aimed to identify K. pneumoniae CGs on the basis of genome-wide sequence variation and to provide a simple bioinformatics tool to extract virulence and resistance gene data from genomic data. We sequenced 48 K. pneumoniae isolates, mostly of serotypes K1 and K2, and compared the genomes with 119 publicly available genomes. A total of 694 highly conserved genes were included in a core-genome multilocus sequence typing scheme, and cluster analysis of the data enabled precise definition of globally distributed hypervirulent and multidrug-resistant CGs. In addition, we created a freely accessible database, BIGSdb-Kp, to enable rapid extraction of medically and epidemiologically relevant information from genomic sequences of K. pneumoniae. Although drug-resistant and virulent K. pneumoniae populations were largely nonoverlapping, isolates with combined virulence and resistance features were detected.
doi:10.3201/eid2011.140206
PMCID: PMC4214299  PMID: 25341126
Klebsiella pneumoniae; hypervirulent; invasive infections; multidrug resistance; clonal groups; emerging clones; genome evolution; multilocus sequence typing; MLST; diagnostics; high-throughput sequencing; bacteria
2.  Comparative analysis of Klebsiella pneumoniae genomes identifies a phospholipase D family protein as a novel virulence factor 
BMC Biology  2014;12:41.
Background
Klebsiella pneumoniae strains are pathogenic to animals and humans, in which they are both a frequent cause of nosocomial infections and a re-emerging cause of severe community-acquired infections. K. pneumoniae isolates of the capsular serotype K2 are among the most virulent. In order to identify novel putative virulence factors that may account for the severity of K2 infections, the genome sequence of the K2 reference strain Kp52.145 was determined and compared to two K1 and K2 strains of low virulence and to the reference strains MGH 78578 and NTUH-K2044.
Results
In addition to diverse functions related to host colonization and virulence encoded in genomic regions common to the four strains, four genomic islands specific for Kp52.145 were identified. These regions encoded genes for the synthesis of colibactin toxin, a putative cytotoxin outer membrane protein, secretion systems, nucleases and eukaryotic-like proteins. In addition, an insertion within a type VI secretion system locus included sel1 domain containing proteins and a phospholipase D family protein (PLD1). The pld1 mutant was avirulent in a pneumonia model in mouse. The pld1 mRNA was expressed in vivo and the pld1 gene was associated with K. pneumoniae isolates from severe infections. Analysis of lipid composition of a defective E. coli strain complemented with pld1 suggests an involvement of PLD1 in cardiolipin metabolism.
Conclusions
Determination of the complete genome of the K2 reference strain identified several genomic islands comprising putative elements of pathogenicity. The role of PLD1 in pathogenesis was demonstrated for the first time and suggests that lipid metabolism is a novel virulence mechanism of K. pneumoniae.
doi:10.1186/1741-7007-12-41
PMCID: PMC4068068  PMID: 24885329
Genome sequencing; Host-microbe interactions; Bacterial pathogenesis; Lipid metabolism
4.  In Vitro Selection of ramR and soxR Mutants Overexpressing Efflux Systems by Fluoroquinolones as Well as Cefoxitin in Klebsiella pneumoniae▿ 
The relationship between efflux system overexpression and cross-resistance to cefoxitin, quinolones, and chloramphenicol has recently been reported in Klebsiella pneumoniae. In 3 previously published clinical isolates and 17 in vitro mutants selected with cefoxitin or fluoroquinolones, mutations in the potential regulator genes of the AcrAB efflux pump (acrR, ramR, ramA, marR, marA, soxR, soxS, and rob) were searched, and their impacts on efflux-related antibiotic cross-resistance were assessed. All mutants but 1, and 2 clinical isolates, overexpressed acrB. No mutation was detected in the regulator genes studied among the clinical isolates and 8 of the mutants. For the 9 remaining mutants, a mutation was found in the ramR gene in 8 of them and in the soxR gene in the last one, resulting in overexpression of ramA and soxS, respectively. Transformation of the ramR mutants and the soxR mutant with the wild-type ramR and soxR genes, respectively, abolished overexpression of acrB and ramA in the ramR mutants and of soxS in the soxR mutant, as well as antibiotic cross-resistance. Resistance due to efflux system overexpression was demonstrated for 4 new antibiotics: cefuroxime, cefotaxime, ceftazidime, and ertapenem. This study shows that the ramR and soxR genes control the expression of efflux systems in K. pneumoniae and suggests the existence of efflux pumps other than AcrAB and of other loci involved in the regulation of AcrAB expression.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00156-11
PMCID: PMC3101381  PMID: 21464248

Results 1-4 (4)